Tokobot
Reviewed by Minna Kim Mazza
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2006-02-04 PSP Adventure E (Everyone) Tecmo

Need some help with the game? Check out our Tokobot fetured guide!

When I obtained Tokobot, frankly I didn't know what to think of it at first. I had really no idea what this game was about at all. Opening the manual led to reading a little prologue that described the ancient history of a super-advanced civilization even though the world generally labeled that time period as "prehistoric." They were the Karakuri, and had technology in the form of robots that basically helped everyone out. You play the character of Bolt, who is part of a research lab called Canewood's Lab, run by Mr. Canewood and assisted by Bolt and another agent, Ruby. Bolt discovers "extremely rare" friendly robots during an expedition into researching the ancient ruins of this civilization.

These friendly robots are of course, the Tokobots. They are little orange and white dudes with innocent blue eyes. They almost remind me of lemmings how they follow Bolt around. With Ruby's help via radio transmission, Bolt takes the Tokobots and explores the ancient ruins.

So what do you do with Tokobots? In addition to following Bolt around, they also walk in formations. They also have an ability called "jointing," in which literally everyone joins hands, and depending on what formation you are in, perform various tricks to bash barrels, climb walls with special magnetic strips, or even defeat enemies. The first level of the game helps you learn these jointing techniques. You go around picking up these items called "Karakuri parts" which allow you to activate more combination moves. So as you fulfill certain conditions, your Tokobots learn new tricks.

Tokobots, while they do follow you around the best they can, have a little bit of a "lag" time so it's possible for them to not make it up on a platform with you, or fall off the edge. Never fear - you can press down a button and hold it until your Tokobots magically appear at your side again. While you might think it's annoying to have so many little guys following you around, you will want at least 4 of them or else you won't be able to do any jointing moves.

I have to say that this game's storyline is a bit hard to really grasp, since it's just such a crazy idea in general. Plus, the biggest problem I had with the game is the camera angles were sometimes a little awkward. I can understand that for the most part, they are controlled, and so there may be times when the game doesn't actually want you to view a certain angle, but it's frustrating nonetheless. There are ways to reset your view, but only to a certain extent and not always in the way you might expect. Also not being able to change the direction you are facing while jointing was hard to get used to. Just the whole jointing concept in general was difficult to master, and while they say that while jointing you can't fall from high places, I managed to do just that several times!

The graphics are cute and cartoonish, though some of the scenery was a bit more detailed and interesting. The music, while cute and fun, was VERY repetitive, and I had to tune it out after a while. I got a bit tired after dying so many times only on the 2nd level of the game. Perhaps I lack the coordination to manage all the weird jointing moves? I'm not sure if it's something that I would be able to master over time, but it was rather discouraging to me personally.

I think that if you play this game, you should be prepared to be frustrated quite a bit when things don't move quite the way you expect them to, or that the camera is not looking properly at the mean enemy robots you are trying to defeat along your adventures. But I suppose that with a lot of time and practice, you can master the moves better - only to have to learn new moves later! It's definitely a kid-friendly game, and best suited for younger kids who probably have more hand-eye coordination ability than I do!

Special thanks to Kate Leeper and Tecmo for providing a copy of this title.